Question For The Union LTL Folks (rookies & Vets)

Topic 32203 | Page 2

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Scott W.'s Comment
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Banks, Old School, Bobcat Bob, G-Town -

I understand why there are variety of opinions on Union jobs. I know there are pros and cons. I'm in my mid 30's and live a healthy lifestyle, but in a high COL area where one serious medical condition would wipe me out. Having decent/affordable healthcare being tied to a Union (or any job) is an unfortunate reality. Politics aside, I know each state has different rules in regards to worker protections which may or may not work for you depending where you live.

I was actually referred to this forum from reddit. I'm just here to soak up some more input from those in the industry. Everything with a grain of salt of course. Times change, so I don't discount the opinion of a 25 year old and I don't write off the guys who have been doing it 40 years either.

My only qualm about megas is the supposed turnover rate. The internet says "Do your 1 or 2 years and start looking for better work." How much of that is truthful? Who knows. Could be bad employees with a grudge, could be that they aren't getting paid what they feel is enough. So yea, all with a grain of salt.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Banks's Comment
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If you're insisting on going union, try to go to ABF. T Force is in a building stage and yellow operates at a loss every year.

G-Town's Comment
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Scott wrote:

My only qualm about megas is the supposed turnover rate. The internet says "Do your 1 or 2 years and start looking for better work." How much of that is truthful? Who knows. Could be bad employees with a grudge, could be that they aren't getting paid what they feel is enough. So yea, all with a grain of salt.

Turnover has nothing todo with the company type… it’s the nature of the industry and the new people entering it with lofty, unrealistic expectations. Zero understanding of what they are committing to…

Did you read this yet? VVVV

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Scott W.'s Comment
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G-Town

I'm on page 58 right now.

G-Town's Comment
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That’s great

G-Town

I'm on page 58 right now.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Unions isn't a 1 size fits all. Your union steward could be worthless and it makes it a moot point.

At PFG I filed a couple grievances over our routes. In our teamsters contract it said that when a route became available it was to go through the bidding process. I was stuck in a downtown des moines route and wanted to switch to something in the suburbs. Problem was management didn't want to because I was able to unload 16+ stops a day safely dealing with elevators and all sort of stupid backing down there, and the new guy was fresh out of CDL school. I get it, it's safer for someone that's been doing that run for 9-12 months to keep doing it instead of the new cdl holder. The union rep kept telling me "I'll talk to them" and nothing changed.. I had already planned on leaving but that rushed the process. This isn't a dig at PFG. There was some things I disagreed with but I'm still very thankful for the opportunity they gave me. I hold no grudge. It always felt like a bit of a cat and mouse game. Both sides trying to see what they could get away with knowing it violated the contract.

My current company voted down unionizing before I got hired. We're still taken care of very well. Our parent company voted to unionize (doing nearly the same exact job) and I feel We're compensated better. We're about 50 miles apart so cost of living isn't too drastically different to factor in. Personally, I'm not going to allow union or not to be the deciding factor on where I work. Most local companies follow the seniority system you'd get from the union. Pay in my area has jumped quite a bit recently. Some would argue thats because of unions offering higher wages so others have to pay similiar to stay competitive.

I had worked for a couple weeks for Kinder Morgan at a bulk terminal when I was in my early 20s that was union. I primarily opened the hoppers containing silica sand from a trailer onto a conveyer that went into rail cars to be sent off to the oilfields. I spent a couple days being trained on hooking chains from a crane onto rebar in a barge from the Mississippi River that came over from Turkey. So many bundles broke sending Rebar falling all over not much room to get out of the way when you're standing 20 feet up from the bottom on stacks of rebar trying not to get your foot caught. The only protective equipment we had was gloves and a hard hat. I didn't feel the union had fought hard enough to make that job safer. Also eating lunch one day a supervisor was eating with us just chatting about random topics not related to work. Only had a couple minutes left on break, everyone was starting to clean up and as he got up he said after you're done with xyz task head over and do another task. It blew up into a huge ordeal, union rep got involved and we were entitled to another break because it was interrupted. I get it, but I felt it was overkill. Others use that as an example of why unions are needed and what they can accomplish. I should also mention most guys on that job smoked cigarettes, including 2 supervisors and the union reps. Even though all our jobs were outside in the elements it was a no smoking property. There would be guys smoking 30 feet away from where fertilizer was stored. This was a couple months after that massive fertilizer explosion in Texas in 2013. Needless to say I went back to my warehouse job.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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